Friday, September 29, 2006

Happy Michaelmas!

In the Tridentine calendar, today is the feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel, or Michaelmas Day. Under the reformed calendar, today is the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels.

Michaelmas was at one time a Holy Day of Obligation, and still has widespread secular observance in the British Isles, with Michaelmas sometimes being used as the name of the season instead of Fall or Autumn.

Michaelmas is one of the "quarter days" in England and Wales that roughly divide the year into seasons, the others being Lady Day (Annunciation) on March 25, Midsummer Day on June 24, and Christmas. Likewise, the times between these Feasts are called "cross quarter days". Besides being religious holidays, these days are traditionally used in rent payments and taxation.

Saint Michael the Archangel, the warrior angel of God who casts Satan into Hell, was traditionally a patron of the Jewish people, and in turn of Christians.

The original feast was in honor of the dedication of a 5th century church, since destroyed over a thousand years ago. Click for the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Saint Michael the Archangel.

In case you missed it, here are my photos of Saint Michael the Archangel church, in Shrewsbury, Missouri.

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